Stephen Farry stated: “This is a sobering reality facing the Executive that requires a collective response. There are a number of immediate implications.
“First, the persistence with the existing budget is now unsustainable. Making small tweaks through the quarterly rounds is not sufficient. There must now be a root and branch review of all budgetary matters.
“Second, the Executive must address inefficiencies within public expenditure. This must include addressing the costs of managing a divided society. These costs amount to around £1bn every year. While this cannot be resolved straight away, the Executive must make a start. Alliance has tabled our own proposals to the Executive on this.
“Third, the Executive needs to abandon its cheap populism on public spending and be much more straight with the people of Northern Ireland.”